Sneak Peeks December 13th 2018

Happy Thursday! We are 12 days away from Christmas! Thank heavens for Amazon! I finished almost all my shopping from the convenience of my couch. This weekend you should reward yourself with one of the new releases our amazing designers created! Take some time this holiday season and enjoy scrapping! Let’s take a peek at some of the new releases!

From Heather Z

From Tinci

From JoCee

From LDrag


From Miss Fish

From Aimee Harrison

Tutorial Tuesday (Tutorials!)

Now Where Did I See That Tutorial About…?

Whew! only 2 weeks until Christmas!! If I got any further behind I’d be going backwards… and I’m not even going to work at the moment. What the heck? Anyway, if you read the comments GingerScrappers leave here on the Blog you might have seen a brilliant suggestion from Ellen for a “quick tut” to index all the other tuts I’ve written over the last 2+ years. Lemme tell you, “quick” it ain’t! But it IS brilliant, so that’s what I’m bringing you today. (And, since I haven’t had ANY scrapping time the last week I really have bupkis to offer otherwise!) Without further ado, here is a chronological linked index to all the tutorials I’ve prepared for you to date, all in one place.

1. Turn a Font into a Sticker

2. Use a Basic Template

3. Titles Revisited: Alphas Plus Fonts

4. One Photo, More than One Photo Spot

5. Making Templates Work for You

6. Simple Photo Blending

7. Extractions… Choose Your Method

8. Brush Basics: Colour

9. Playing with Text

10. Shadow Basics

11. Text Talk: LETTERPRESS!

12. Titles with STYLE(s)

13. Word Art Wizardry

14. For all you former paper scrappers: INKED EDGES!

15. Getting More Mileage from Your Templates… Easily!

16. Reverse Stencilling with Brushes

17. Kustomize Your Kits

18. Sizzling Signatures!

19. Journaling INside the Box

20. Yes! You CAN Warp Shadows in PSE!

21. Heritage Photos Get a Makeover

22. Only the Shadow Knows… Take TWO

23. When is a Square NOT a Square?

24. Creating Clusters… Not Clutter

25. Build-a-Brush Workshop

26. Blend Modes? Say What??

27. Down on the Border (not the Little River Band version)

28. Carol: Objects Inside Other Objects and Going Incognito

29. Tearing Up the Sheets (of Cardstock)

30. Style Savvy!

31. WSNH Tips and Tricks

32. Title Tweaks

33. Get in SHAPE, Girl!

34. Keeping Things in Perspective

35. Can This Photo Be Saved?

36. Behind the MASK

37. Michelle: Finding Font

38. Putting the “OH!” in Your Photos

39. Ellen: Talking about Tools

40. Chalking it Up to Inspiration

41. Becoming an ALPHA Female

42. Over-the-Top TITLES

43. Templates with a Twist

44. How’d You DO That?!! Fontography Demystified

45. A Little Bit Sketchy

46. More Fun with FONTS

47. Dodge and Burn… NOT an Action Movie

48. Reflections

49. The EYEs Have It

50. There’s a Flag on the Play – Out Of Bounds!

51. Abstract Meets Graphic Art

52. Mixing it UP!

53. Revisionist History

54. The TutOR Becomes the TutEE

55. A Few Quick Template and Shadow Tips

56. It’s a PUZZLE!

57. I Feel the Need… the Need for SPEED (Scrapping)!

58. More FUN with FOTOS

59. Turning a POSITIVE into a NEGATIVE

60. Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head

61. Scrapping with Heritage Photos

62. You’ve Gotta Know When to FOLD ‘Em

63. More Fun with Fonts – Die-Cut!

64. A(nother) Way with WORDS

65. Playing on Emotion

66. In the RAW!

67. Christmas FONTography

68. Ahead of the CURVE

69. Like Snowflakes… No Two ALIKE


71. More Fun with Photos!

72. Fun with FONTS & FOTOS 

73. First Past the Post(mark)


75. Here’s a Little Clip!

76. The EYES Have It!

77. Facebook Timeline Covers

78. Tiny BUBBLES!

79. Uniquely YOURS

80. DIAMONDS are a Girl’s Best Friend

81. Totally TACKY!

82. UNZIP Me Dahling!

83. Direct Your Own SCRIPT

84. Transforming the Ordinary to the Extraordinary!

85. Making the Most of (inter)National Scrapbooking Day!

86. When SIZE Really DOES Matter…

87. A Road Map for Newbies

88. Throwing the BOOK at Glee

89. Jailbird No More!

90. Alphas Revisited

91. Everything New is Old Again

92. Still MORE Fun with FONTS!! 

93. Where the Boys Are

94. Like a Broken Record

95. Creating ‘Mazing Monograms

96. Vacation Memories Sanitized!

97. Another Way to Have the Photo You REALLY Wanted, Not the One You Got

98. Fontography with Alphas

99. Expanding Your Repertoire

100. Sketchy Simplified

101. It’s Fall, Y’All!

102. Making a Stylish Sandwich

103. Clusters… Have Them Your Way, the Easy Way!

104. Driven to Distraction

105. Are YOU Ready for Digital Scrapbooking Day?

106. Don’t Lose Your Cool… or Your Stash!

107. 8 ball, Corner Pocket!

108. One Hand in my Pocket… and the other one’s holding a Journal Card!

109. Shaving Shadows

110. Cuttin’ It Out – Old-School

111. Let’s All Give Thanks… for AWESOME Photos!

112. Gentle(wo)men, Start Your Ovens!

113. The EYE-lets Have It!

Wow!! I knew there were a few, but 113?!! I think I should do an annual index from now on. What say you?

Here’s hoping I get some scrapping done this week so I have something fresh for you next Tuesday… See you then!

Sneak Peeks December 6th 2018

Happy Thursday!!! We are 19 days away from Christmas! I guess I need to start shopping! While I brainstorm what gifts to buy, I can get in the Christmas spirit by scrapbooking more layouts from last year and our designers are releasing some festive kits this week! Let’s take a look!

From Day Dreams n’ Designs

From Tinci

From Aimee Harrison

From LDrag Designs

From Neia Scraps

From Miss Fish

Come back tomorrow to see even more new releases!

Tutorial Tuesday (Photoshop Elements)

The EYE-lets Have It!

I’m still working my way through years worth of scrapbooking magazines trying to figure out why I kept them in the first place. While I’m at it I’ve been looking for more paper-scrapping techniques I can translate into digital ones, and finding some solid inspiration. Today I want to show you how I’ve used an eyelet from the GingerBread Ladies‘ collab It Comes with Spring  to secure my photo and frame to my paper stack… just like I would have when I paper-scrapped. (This collection was the Free-with-Purchase gift in March 2016.) The rest of the layout is created with Connie Prince‘s Snowflake Kisses , LDrag DesignsJolly Holidays alphas and Aprilisa‘s Picture Perfect 177 templates from the December Buffet for the Buffet Challenge.

Once I had my eyelet in position and resized to fit within the edges of my paper frame, I clicked on the Elliptical Marquee tool.

I set the tool’s settings to Fixed Size, then experimented with the dimensions until I got a circle the correct size. Both dimensions for width and height must be the same. 50 pixels by 50 pixels works.

I made sure the frame’s layer was my active layer and clicked just inside the edge of the eyelet to make my circular selection.

Then I used the arrow keys to nudge it into place with the hole in the eyelet in the center. Once I had it positioned properly, I used the Edit>Cut command (CTRL/CMD>X) to create a hole in the frame paper.

There! Now I can see the corner of the photo. On to the next step.

I repeated the same steps, only moving my active layer to the photo layer.

I cut the corner of the photo off…

but, because I’m using a template, the photo clipping mask is still there.

Oh wait!! There’s a Work Smart Not Hard lesson here! If I make the CLIPPING MASK layer the active layer, I can cut BOTH layers with one click.

I kept repeating the layer>select>cut steps for each paper layer until I could see my background paper.

You’ll notice as you go along that the drop shadow from each paper layer is visible, but there’s no shadow on the actual eyelet. I used the default drop shadow styles to apply a narrow shadow with the light source coming from the same direction as the template’s layers.

I could leave it with just a single eyelet, but that doesn’t work for me. So I Copied the eyelet layer (CTRL/CMD>J) and nudged it over, then followed all the same steps as before to make a nice hole all the way to the background paper.

Then I did it all one more time to create 3 eyelets lined up along the top edge of my frame. To quote my friend Sandy, 3 is an esthetically pleasing number.

For balance and symmetry, I decided to put another 3-eyelet set in the diagonally opposite corner.

In this corner, there are different papers in the stack under the frame, so I had to pay attention to the paper I could see in the hole. It’s really not that time consuming to copy and cut three more eyelets.

There it is! The background paper!

I have a feeling the eyelets in the lower right corner won’t be visible on my finished layout, but I’ll know they’re there!

If you can think of a paper-scrapping technique you’d like me to translate, please let me know!

Sneak Peeks November 29th, 2018

Happy Thursday! Is everyone ready for December? I can’t believe its only two days away! That means we have TWO DAYS of new releases this week! I get to show you a peek of Friday’s goodies as well as a peek of Saturday’s Buffet! Let’s get started!

From JoCee

From Lindsay Jane

From LDrag

From JBS Templates

From Neia Scraps


From Craft-tastrophic

And here’s a peek of December’s Buffet!


Come back tomorrow and Saturday to see all the awesome new releases and new Buffet!


Tutorial Tuesday (Photoshop Elements)

Gentle(wo)men, Start Your Ovens!

The inspiration for today’s tutorial came from a Facebook post by one of my coworkers. She had spent the day making and decorating sugar cookies. (The photo above isn’t hers, it’s from The Girl Creative‘s blog.) As I was looking at her cookies, it occurred to me that I could probably make digital sugar cookies (bonus – NO calories!) and so I gave it a shot. It worked well, so I’m going to share the recipe with y’all. I started with a 6 inch by 6 inch square blank canvas. (P.S. Don’t be thrown by the number of screenshots in this tut. I’ve included practically every step, although we’re using a lot of techniques I’ve already shown you.)

I looked through all of the Custom Shape tool‘s menu – it’s the one that looks like an amoeba. The menu has a lot of options for shapes, most of them geometrical. But that won’t make this technique easy, so I only looked at the amoeba menu.

If you click on the triangle along the right side of the box I’ve circled below, the amoeba Custom Shape menu opens. I chose to look at them all to find the one that would work best, so I went with All Elements Shapes then scrolled until I found the one named Nuclear.

Because snowflakes in nature are perfectly symmetrical, I changed the settings for this tool from the default, which is Unconstrained, to Defined Proportions. If you’re into Working Smart Not Hard, you can also Simplify the shape by selecting that in the settings.

Getting these shapes in the exact spot you want them isn’t easy. But you can click-and-drag out your shape then move it to where it needs to be. Once it has been Simplified, you can easily resize it too.

If you didn’t Simplify in the Shapes menu, do it now. Right-click on the layer in the Layers panel and select Simplify Layer.

Not looking much like a cookie cutter now, is it? We’ll have to fill in those open areas using the Paint Bucket tool.

There we go! I could go ahead and just use this shape, which is more like a flower than a snowflake, but would still totally work. But if you know me at all, you’ll know I’m going to do more.

There are two ways to do this next step. I’m going to use the Elliptical Marquee tool. The other way would be to use the Custom Shapes tool and choose the Circle.

Because symmetry is still important at this point, I changed the settings to Fixed Ratio. This is handy for making perfect circles, but also can be set to make perfect ellipses too.

It’s possible to perform this on the same layer as the original shape, but I choose to put the outline on its own layer.

So I added a blank layer above the shape and made my Stroke outline here.

The stroke can be any size. Once I’d made my circle I filled it in with the Paint Bucket.

This is my cookie cutter. It needs a little adjustment – look closely and you’ll see the circle isn’t centered on the nucleus shape. I need to fix that!

Now that both layers were aligned properly, I Merged the layers into one shape. (CTRL/CMD>E)

Then I Duplicated the shape layer and set it aside for later. Right-click on the layer then select Duplicate Layer, or CTRL/CMD>J.

I didn’t need to see that duplicate layer at this stage, so I closed the eye and made it invisible.

To turn the shape into a cookie, I applied a Style. I used this creamy acrylic one from Miss Mis‘s Hustle and Heart layer styles set. Another option for this step would be to use a chipboard Style, such as one of Just So Scrappy‘s Cabin Fever chipboards (included in the GingerBread Ladies December 2017 Challenge Reward collab of the same name). That would allow you to condense this step and the next 9 into just a SINGLE WSNH step!

The only problem with this is that the cookie is too shiny. The colour looks good, and there’s a nice dimension to it, but I changed the Style settings, essentially turning everything off and shifting the light source. To adjust a Layer Style, rignt-click on the fx symbol on the layer in the Layers panel and this menu will open up.

Now it still has some dimension but the shine is gone. I’m still working on the bottom, original layer.

I picked a nice, toasty golden brown to “bake” my cookie.

Then I opened a new layer above the base layer, and selected a brush from one of the presets that came with my software. It’s called Pastel Light 118 pixels and I used it with the default settings that opened with the brush menu.

I picked a spot on the edge of the cookie, then clicked and dragged the brush all the way around the shape.

Remember this from when I showed you how to do digital inked edges? Same technique exactly. I CTRL/CMD>clicked on the layer thumbnail of the cookie layer while working on my brush layer. That selected the edges and the inside of the cookie.

Next I Inverted the selection – moving the chosen area of the layer outside of the cookie. Select>Inverse or CTRL/CMD>SHIFT>I.

Then I simply Cut away the brush that falls outside the cookie. Edit>Cut or CTRL/CMD>X.

Voilà! My cookie is baked to golden perfection!! Now to add the Royal Icing. (Or Royal Frosting, if you prefer.)

Here’s why I had you Duplicate the shape layer. I’m going to flood that top shape with my Royal Icing. But first, I resized the shape so some of the cookie layer is visible. The easiest way is to click on one of the little boxes at the corners of the bounding box then go down to the menu and type in a number less than 100. I chose 92%, which exposes some of the cookie layer but not too much. You can also just move the corner you’ve clicked on inward until it looks right.

I used another Style, this gel blue one from Just So Scrappy‘s Lucky Me. [GingerScraps is lucky to have designers who create layer styles, like Misty (Miss Mis Designs), Katie (Just So Scrappy/Ooh La La Scraps), Aimee Harrison, Marina (Magical Scraps Galore), Lina (LDrag Designs), Jo (JoCee Designs), Natasha (Ponytails Designs) and our lovely guest Karen (Snickerdoodle Designs).]

I made some tweaks to the layer style to make it look more like a flood of Royal Icing.

Then I got to the good part! I changed my foreground colour to pure white (which can be quickly selected by typing “ffffff” into the box at the bottom right of the menu).

Next I chose my Pencil tool from the Toolbox and adjusted the tip size to about 25 pixels.

If you’ve been adding realism to your stickers and overlays, you’ll already know how to draw a line with the Pencil. But if you haven’t read that tut, or you need a refresher, all you have to do is click at the starting point of your line, hold down the SHIFT key and click where you want the line to end.

You can turn on the Grid as shown below to help figure out where to start and stop your lines. View>Grid or CTRL/CMD>’

I used just the Pencil tool, but you could also use Brushes for adding detail to your snowflakes. Don’t worry about precision; if you were making real sugar cookies you’d be doing all the piping freehand, right?

You can make your snowflake as complex as you like. I played around for about 10 minutes, using the Pencil and changing the tip size.

No comment.

Now to turn all those lines and dots into Royal Icing. I applied a basic Style from the presets in Elements to add a Bevel. I experimented with all of them until I got the look I was after. In the end I went with the Simple Sharp Inner bevel.

It looks pretty good as is, with the default settings for the Bevel style menu.

Now, I could have stopped here and called it good. But again, anyone who has read my tutorials before know I had to experiment some more. But I’ve learned to do my experimenting on a copy layer… CTRL/CMD>J

Then I cleared the Layer Style (Bevel) by right-clicking on the layer in the Layers panel and choosing Clear Layer Style.

Then I hit that top copy layer with another of Katie’s Styles from Lucky Me, the gel white.

Then I decreased the Opacity on that layer to 46% (after some waffling).  Now the sharp edges are a little softer, and so are the shadows. Much better!

Once I was happy with my finished product, I Saved my cookie as a .png (which preserves the transparent background). Now I can use the cookie on a layout!

Of course, I didn’t stop there. I went back and deleted the snowflakey layers and started fresh. This time I stayed really basic. I just used one of the preset snowflakes from the Custom Shapes menu! The Styles I used were exactly the same.

If you’ve never saved a creation as a .png, or if you’ve forgotten how to do it, here are the settings I use.

And again… one of the Custom Shapes snowflakes, but with some personality.

Are you hungry now?

Sneak Peeks November 15th, 2018


Happy Thursday!! Is everyone ready for Thanksgiving!!! We are a week away from stuffing ourselves silly! While you are waiting for the holiday, lets check out what goodies our designers are releasing tomorrow!

From Heather Z

From Snickerdoodle and ABD Designs

From Snickerdoodle Designs


From JoCee Designs

From Tinci Designs


From Lindsay Jane

From LDrag Designs

From Miss Fish

From Shepherd Studio

From Aimee Harrison

~~November Bake Sale!!~~

Good morning. Today is the start of the November Bake Sale. November!!! This month is flying by. Looks like our designers have thrown in a lot of Fall and Thankful kits into the Bake Sale this month. All kits and template packs are only $1.00 each through November 2oth. I know I see several things I need to grab for my stash.

Head over to the store and grab these before the Bake Sale ends!!

Tutorial Tuesday (Photoshop Elements)

Cuttin’ It Out – Old-School

Since I’m essentially house-bound while my husband recovers from his knee injury, I’ve started a decluttering project – something my daughter would say is LONG past due. (She calls me Queen of the Hoarders, which may be a slight exaggeration. Slight…) I’ll never be a minimalist, but a girl’s gotta start somewhere right? So as I was flipping through some back issues of Canadian Scrapbooker (to see why they hadn’t already been recycled), I found some paper layouts that I thought could make interesting digital techniques. The paper scrapper (Erin Morehouse of Beaconsfield, Québec) who created the layout shown below used a Silhouette Cameo to die-cut the letters from her background paper. I’m going to show you how I scraplifted her layout digitally; it’s my Designer Spotlight challenge layout for November, using pieces-parts of several kits from JoCee Designs.

First I had to find a photo and a quote that would work together. Then I collected up my supplies.

Once I had the bare bones in place, I added in the alphas I wanted to use. They form a message all by themselves, don’t they?

Then I went on to choose a serif font with enough presence to work for the die-cut technique. It was a lovely surprise to see I could use a system font, one that’s accessible to everybody. Courier New Bold is perfect for this.

I had an idea how the text should look, so I typed it out as you see it below. I went BIG.

But it was a little too sprawly for me, took up too much space on my layout. So I adjusted it by squishing it a bit – still the same height, but not as wide.

That was much better. Before I went on to the next step, I Simplified the text. Otherwise I ran the risk of messing it up when I used the Type tool again. And I needed to be able to beef the letters up a bit.

The easiest way to make these letters more stocky is to apply a Stroke to them.

Colour isn’t a factor for this part, because the text is only temporary. So use whatever colour you want. The stroke needed to be big enough to give me the effect I was looking for, but not so big it blunted the text. And it had to be centered on the edges of the letters so it would follow the letters’ contours exactly AND be connected to the text.

My text now has good bulk, without obliterating the open areas in each letter.

I went on to add in the rest of the quote. I used the same tweaks on these text layers for conformity. See the difference between the free-standing letter ‘a’ and the ‘a’s in “balancing”?

After I had my text positioned where I wanted it, I Merged the  text layers so I could continue to play with the text as a single object.

Next I moved the text layer underneath the background paper layer. (This step isn’t necessary, I did it to show you how the process will work from this point.) I Selected the text by CTRL/CMD>clicking on the layer thumbnail in the Layers panel. See the marching ants? Then I Edit>Cut (CTRL/CMD>X) the paper away where it overlies the text.

The text layer is visible again.

If I turn off the layer’s visibility, the gingham paper behind it shows through. (Unreadable as it is…)

So I no longer needed the text layer, and could just Delete it.

I had a number of patterned papers in my layout folder so I started adding pieces of them behind my words. Some needed to be resized to work correctly.

But to see the full effect, I opted to add a Drop Shadow to the woodgrain paper layer. No fancy footwork here, just a simple, Hard default shadow. I made some little adjustments to the shadow by double-clicking on the fx icon to the right of the layer in the Layers panel.

Now, when I added in my patterned papers, I could see the shadow and gauge the way it all looked together.

I only want this blue paper behind “Step”, so I used the Rectangular Marquee tool to select an area of the paper that would completely fill the word. Then I Inverted the selection to cut away the excess paper. Select>Inverse or CTRL/CMD>Shift>I

then Edit>Cut or CTRL/CMD>X.

There we go!

I did the same steps for each word, although I worked randomly, until I had all the words backed with patterned paper.

Then I took another look at the original layout and realized I hadn’t removed the little bits from the open letters that would be impossible to work with using paper and a die-cutter.

So I erased all those little areas.

Then all that was left was to adjust the drop shadow again. Pretty cool!

Now, if you were expecting to see my finished layout here, I’m sorry to disappoint you… My laptop froze just as I finished up my screenshots and I had to do a hard reboot. (There seems to be some sort of instability with PSE 15 and Windows 10 because this freeze happens unpredictably, but frequently, when I have PSE open.) I have to start my layout over from scratch, but I have these screenshots to help me out. Then I can get back to purging…………

Sneak Peeks November 8th 2018

Happy Thursday! There’s a ton of goodies releasing tomorrow! Our designers are definitely getting into the holiday spirit!

From JB Studio

From Tinci

From Miss Fish

From JoCee Designs

From LDrag Designs

From Aimee Harrison

From Ponytails

From Neia Scraps